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Beneficial Ownership Declaration for Trusts

The Trust Property Control Act, 1988 (Act No. 58 of 1988) (“the Act”) was recently amended by the General Laws (Anti Money-Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing) Amendment Act, 2022 (Act No. 22 of 2022) (“the Amendment Act”), in order to provide for, amongst others, the establishment and maintenance of registers of beneficial owners of trusts by trustees and the Master of the High Court and the recording of the details of accountable institutions by trustees.

  1. Beneficial Owner

Beneficial owner means a natural person who directly or indirectly ultimately owns the relevant trust property, natural person who benefit from the trust property or a natural person who exercises effective control of the administration of the trust arrangements that are established pursuant to a trust instrument. This includes, Trustees, Beneficiaries, and the Founder/Settlor.

  1. Obligations of Trustees in terms of the amendment act

Section 11A of the Act requires trustees to establish, record and keep an up-to-date register of the prescribed information of the beneficial owners of a trust.

The Act further requires the Trustees to lodge this register, detailing the following information in respect of each beneficiary, with the Master of the High Court:

· full names.

· date of birth.

· nationality.

· an official identity document number or passport number, indicating the type of document and the country of issue.

· citizenship.

· residential address.

· if different from residential address, the beneficial owner’s address for service of notices.

· other means of contact.

· if the person is a registered taxpayer in the Republic, the person’s tax number.

· the class or category of beneficial ownership under which the person falls.

· the date on which the person became a beneficial owner of the trust.

· where applicable, the date on which the person ceased to be a beneficial owner of the trust.

  1. Penalties for non-compliance

A trustee who fails to comply with an obligation referred to in section 10(2), 11(1) or 11A(1) commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of up to R10 million, or imprisonment for a period of up to five years, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

NB Any subsequent changes to the Beneficial Ownership of the Trust must be lodged with the Master of the High Court. All future updates to the Beneficial Ownership Register, must be informed to Moore Pretoria in advance of all changes so that they can ensure that your Trust remains compliant at all times.

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